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Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch ("MCA") Dead At 47

Adam Yauch

Adam Yauch


The Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, known as "MCA," has died after a nearly three-year battle with cancer. The rapper, filmmaker, producer, activist and director was just 47.

A full obituary has been posted on the Beastie Boys' website.

Yauch had been diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland in July of 2009. He was unable to attend last month's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony inducting the Beastie Boys. 

Despite cancer treatments, Yauch worked with his Beastie Boys co-horts Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz on the group's most recent album, Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2, although his illness prevented the group from touring.

The trio of Yauch, Diamond and Horovitz — friends for most of their lives — founded the Beastie Boys as teenagers in 1981 and segued from punk to rap, releasing their first "official" debut album, Licensed to Ill, in 1986. They famously — and incongruously —  opened for Madonna's 1985 "The Virgin Tour" and over the years have remained one of the most influential acts in hip hop, with a string of brash, eclectic and often brilliant albums like Paul's Boutique (1989), Check Your Head (1992), Ill Communication (1994), Hello Nasty (1998) and To The 5 Boroughs (2004).

Yauch was also an activist and a devout Tibetan Buddhist who was deeply involved in Free Tibet causes, like the Milarepa Fund which he founded, and he spearheaded the Free Tibet Music Festival. He was also a director and filmmaker, founding his own film distribution and production company, Oscilloscope Laboratories, which released films like the Oscar-nominated, Banksy documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and "The Messenger."

Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen, his daughter Tenzin Losel and his parents, Frances and Noel Yauch.